For the most part my talks involve all kinds of topics about life (both shit and good sides), mental health, and personal storytelling. It's different every time because I never have a script and every audience is different. What I DON'T too often do but really enjoy doing is speaking on behalf of my project at Black Dog Institute, BITE BACK.
BITE BACK isn't so much looking at mental health in terms of depression and suicide prevention. It's coming it at from a positive psychology and wellbeing angle. It enables young people to get more engaged with what's really meaningful to them whether they have a diagnosable condition or not.
I was asked to speak at the Mental Health in Schools Conference 2015 by ProPsych in Sydney and Melbourne and we just wrapped up in Melbourne yesterday. OH MAN! I had forgotten how much fun conferences can be. The daytime learning and the after conference socialising / karaoke... I was essentially giving an overview of BITE BACK to a big room of school wellbeing coordinators, teachers, and other support staff. PowerPoint and I haven't really been friends for a long time but we occasionally get thrown in the same room together with often unexpected but usually entertaining results.
It was a great opportunity to share with people the work that has gone into creating BITE BACK, how the activities work, the feedback from our BITE BACK members, and the results of a randomised controlled trial measuring the effectiveness of BITE BACK in helping to boost wellbeing. I also spoke a bit about some of our big upcoming plans.
... then I sang Loveshack. Obviously.
I met plenty of great school based people doing important work in this space. I'm REALLY looking forward to speaking again with ProPsych at their conference next year from more of a youth mental illness perspective. Woo!